Not only did actress Jodi Foster win the Cecile B. Demile award at last night’s Golden Globes, she also won over the hearts of many LGBT people you won’t normally hear about by openly discussing a very private part of her life she doesn’t have to discuss.
Most people already knew she was gay, but I’m sure there were some who didn’t…maybe the Pope? Or that literature teacher I posted about in France yesterday? In any event, the fact that Foster talked about herself this way, with a topic that has been absolutely so utterly taboo in Hollywood since the film industry began, makes a huge difference to both LGBT people and society in general. As a side note, I watched a film the other night that was a memoir about Marilyn Monroe. There was an infamously well known actor portrayed in this film who knew and worked with Monroe back then and he was gay, in the closet gay. And not one single mention of this in the film. Not even a hint. So the pressure for actors and actresses to remain closeted still exists today. And even when they are dead, their families come out and dispute all facts as if there’s something fundamentally wrong with being gay. That’s where it gets tricky. You have to respect the privacy of everyone, but why is it always so wrong to say your gay?
But Jodi Foster took one more step in rectifying this mind set. No one should be forced to talk about this in public, nor should they feel obligated to do this unless they are ready to do it. However, when someone like Jodi Foster does something like she did last night it makes things easier for other people who aren’t as famous, don’t have as much money, and don’t know if they’ll ever be able to come out. In a word: Hope. And I’m not talking about the kind of hope our illustrious politicians promise us all the time and never follow through with. This is hope in it’s simplest, and most effective, form.
Unfortunately, the speech was met with criticism from some. It’s been referred to in many ways I’m not bothering to list here, because it just gets me too damn mad and I’ve promised myself I won’t rant or curse anymore in blog posts…unless I really, really can’t help it. But Perez Hilton tweeted something interesting:
Here’s part of what Foster said. I’m not linking back to anything in this post because the quotes are Foster’s own words and the article where I found the quotes is just dumb. It takes on a tone of “Wow, guess what?” You know, the same cheesy way they coax people to watch those Barbara Walters TV news programs all the time. And other articles I read were insulting to Foster and to the LGBT community in general.
“While I’m here being all confessional, I just have the sudden urge to say something I’ve never been able to say in public. A declaration that I’m a little nervous about. Not quite as nervous as my publicist, huh, Jennifer? But uh, you know, I’m just going to put it out there. Loud and proud. I’m going to need your support. I am — single,” she said. “I’m kidding.”
Foster later added that ”I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the stone age. In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends, and family, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her.”
What interests me most is that she was obviously so anxious over doing this. Don’t get me wrong. That’s perfectly understandable, especially considering the reactions I’ve read today from some of the biggest assholes on the planet. But we often tend to think of people like Jodi Foster as being so strong and invincible that nothing bothers them. The fact that she’s such a great actress makes this image even stronger. So it’s important to put this into perspective and try to think like a lot of the closeted gay people in the world have to think. If this was a big thing for someone like Jodi Foster just imagine what it’s like for someone in a small town (or country) who doesn’t know where to turn.